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How to create an effective content marketing strategy

The ultimate aim of any marketing strategy is to attract an audience, engage them and convert this interest to sales. However, with the incredible popularity of social media as a theoretically high ROI commercial tool, it is easy to forget that a strategy based solely on Facebook likes and Twitter followers may well be adding to the fan base, but is unlikely to have any measurable impact on conversion. For that, you will always need targeted, effective website content.

The ultimate aim of any marketing strategy is to attract an audience, engage them and convert this interest to sales. However, with the incredible popularity of social media as a theoretically high ROI commercial tool, it is easy to forget that a strategy based solely on Facebook likes and Twitter followers may well be adding to the fan base, but is unlikely to have any measurable impact on conversion. For that, you will always need targeted, effective website content.
Of course, a social media fan base is an invaluable resource when assessing brand image, likeability and demographic, but to build a solid relationship with your chosen audience – one that will supersede the next wave of virtual social communication services and actively impact conversion goals – it is vital to create a content marketing strategy that offers more than 140 characters and a picture of a kitten. Although the tone and style of any content should be dictated by industry, preferred audience demographic and ultimate conversion goals, there are three essential points that can help any business plan an integrated textual strategy that is specific to its needs.
Make a list and use it wisely
By making a list of your target audience’s interests, you are well placed to plan out a content strategy that entertains and informs, as well as offering significant scope for assessment. By picking a core theme and then providing regular articles that deal with it, as well as any peripheral interests for a bit of variety, you can be sure that you are accommodating your audience’s needs in a focused and engaging manner. In this way, by presenting your website as a valuable and informative resource, you will be able to build loyalty and retain interest whilst positively effecting conversion.
For example, if your core subject matter is conveyance, peripheral articles may deal with mortgage documentation requirements, maintenance legalities or any other issue which might interest your target market. By offering insight into new laws or legislative amendments, you will then be directing traffic and increasing your SEO ranking by providing the specific content that your audience wants, whilst assessing your success via enquiries and conversions.
Write for your audience, not the search engines
The phrase “Content is King” has become ubiquitous when purporting to offer advice on the best way to build a content-driven SEO strategy, but it is rarely explained in terms of a textual plan. For example, keywords are widely held to be the most important tool when trying to increase SEO rankings, but you are rarely warned that focusing upon keyword repetition rather than readability will ultimately be more damaging than helpful. That is to say, if you attract a visitor by the promise of engaging content, but instead only offer a densely packed, unreadable, uninformative text, the visitor is unlikely to return, let alone convert to a sale or recommend your services to anyone else.
So, instead of filling any specific article with a disproportionate number of keywords, make a short list (say, 3 individual keywords or 3 repetitions of one keyword per 150 words) so that your audience is engaged and the search engines have what their algorithms demand: natural traffic that shows relevance and popularity.
Use your social media feeds tactically 
As was noted earlier, Facebook and Twitter are considered handy tools, but as a direct result of their nature, their content is often unfocused and reactive. For a marketing strategy to be effective it should always be proactive and driven by projected goals, so the benefit of well-thought-out website content is that it can be used to populate these feeds with a core theme, whilst allowing the reactive nature to gather more followers.
By considering an article a ‘product’ to be advertised and integrating social media feeds as a tactical tool to inform followers of this new offering, you can direct these particular fans to your website where you are more able to convert interest to sales. Additionally, by regularly assessing your analytics, you will not only be able to see where the traffic is coming from, but also what is inspiring it to visit. Therefore, if a particular theme is not seeing an appropriate reaction then it may be wise to find a new topical focus; on the other hand, if a certain subject is garnering more attention than others, then efforts should be made to maintain traffic by continuing to provide content based on that popularity.
An effective content marketing strategy recognises the importance of consistently fulfilling audience expectation, so be sure that yours is designed to regularly and reliably engage your target demographic – no matter where they came from.

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